Crime Rates and Procedures in the Field of Corrections

CrimeRates and Procedures in the Field of Corrections


Crimerates and procedures in the field of corrections

In the recentpast, crime rates in the US have increased dramatically thus,concerns have raised on the procedures cultivated and consistent withhigh rates of success in the field of corrections. Schmalleger &ampSmykla (2015) assert that the US department of corrections acts as anadministrative organization responsible for superintending theconfinement of persons condemned of crimes within a specificdominion. In this regards, the field of corrections has a role inensuring the reduction of crime rates in the country. Aninvestigative report will help provide a contextual analysis on theprocesses involved in the field of corrections particularly thoserelating to probation and diversion. As such, the paper discourseprovides a comprehensive exploration on the processes involved in thejurisdiction of corrections.

Probation andDiversion

Diversiondenotes the procedure of managing juvenile cases using non-courtpractices such as referral to society panels such as communitycourts, non-court alterations, or dismissals emanating from legalinadequacy. On the other hand, Schmalleger &amp Smykla (2015) andWilson &amp Hoge (2013a) contend that probation denotes theprocesses that apply to community sentences i.e. scenarios where aperson guilty of a crime serves a community sentence rather thangoing to jail. In addition, probation denotes the period or processesof observing or testing the traits of an offender from imprisonmentsubject to a period of decent behavior under direction. Diversionserves to help low-risk minors who have a low likelihood tore-offend, avert the stigma and stress that can result frommisbehavior verdict. In addition, it provides occasions for communityallies and victims to take dynamic roles in the administration oflow-risk youth offenders. While a diversion involves a program, wherean offender get a chance to go through management and avoidconviction while probation involves a process where a judge subjectsan offender to supervision either after a certain period in a prisonor as an alternative to a jail term. However, the criminal record ina probation remains while in the diversionary programs an offenderavoids conviction and jail term.

Original conceptsand evolution of diversion and probation

Wilson &ampHoge (2013a) assert that diversion is an endeavor to deter juvenileoffenders from the justice structure. The perception of diversiongrounds on the theory that handling certain juveniles through thejuvenile structure may cause more harm than good. During the Britishera, the justice system treated juveniles as small adults orpossessions. A judge could sentence a kid in a criminal court.However, in 1825, the Society for the Prevention of JuvenileDelinquency supported splitting juvenile and adult offenders andfollowed such processes with the establishment of facilities forjuveniles. From 1970s, deinstitutionalization, community-basedplans, and diversion became the standards of juvenile structure. Onthe other hand, the probation system advanced with the development ofthe juvenile justice structure in the US as a means to separatejuvenile offenders from adult offenders. Schmalleger &amp Smykla(2015) maintain that a reaction to the severity of the criminalstructure during the 1800s was the determination to keep juvenileoffenders out of confinement. Probation processes started asscenarios where juveniles served apprenticeships instead of prisonterms while in some Eastern parts societies shipped delinquentchildren west. In 1840s, John Augustus, a Boston shoemaker recognizeda way of keeping people out of prison: he bailed people out and askedthe courts to continue their court cases while he supervised them. In1899, the Illinois assembly developed a special court Chicago, whichacted as the first juvenile court and relied on unceremoniousprocedures to assist children in misfortune. Today, diversion andprobation remains the keystone of the juvenile system, with over halfof America’s juvenile court caseload getting probationservices.Use of diversion and probation

The juvenilesystem has used diversion and probation as means of reducingovercrowding especially in states with high number of juvenileoffenders. The juvenile system has established a secure detentionstructure, which allows the simplification of diversion and probationprocesses. Most diversion and probation programs have involvedplacing offenders in scenarios where a probation officer overseetheir behaviors and recommend ways on the most prevalent crimes thatjuveniles commit. However, the America has used diversion andprobation programs mainly in substance abuse cases and smallmisdemeanor.

Pros and cons ofusing diversion and probation

  • Pros of diversion and probation programs:

  • Avoid future criminal actions

  • Save tribunal and jurisdictional resources i.e. it is cheaper than other formal processes of processing offenders

  • Offer a way of restoration to societies and sufferers of crime

  • Diversion programs give an offender a better chance on life than formal processes.

  • Cons of diversion programs

  • Most probation and diversional officers lack the professionalism required in the juvenile system than in formal processes where judges have experience and skills thus, diversion and probation programs may put constitutional liberties at risk.

  • Diversion and probation provide an ineffective deterrent for repeat offenders.

Impact ofdiversion and probation on recidivism rates

The US criminalsystem has used Pre- and post-charge diversion plans as formalintrusion approach for youth wrongdoers since 1970s. Most studiesreveal that recidivism rates differ greatly from location to locationdepending on the significance of offenses, average length ofprobation or diversion, and amount or quality of diversion orprobation enforced (Schmalleger &amp Smykla, 2015). In fact, Wilson&amp Hoge (2013b) assert that over three-fourths of offenderscomplete their probation but roughly, two-thirds of the offenders getrearrested. In this regards, probation and diversion do not greatlyreduce recidivism rates.

Role of probationofficer

Administration or supervision

  • The regular probation officer in America oversees roughly 139 wrongdoers.

  • Reversal of probation

    • New wrongdoing

    • Procedural violations

    • Desertion

Case Investigation

  • Presentence intelligences

  • Client-specific strategies

Wilson &ampHoge (2013b) asserts that 75% of offenders finish their probationperiods, which means that probation officers have a good successrates. However, this success rate has been falling gradually.Perhaps, one can construe the falling success rates on the dangersthat probation officers face such as psychological and physicalrisks.


Althoughprobation officers face numerous risks, they have managed todemonstrate the efficacy of diversion and probation in reducing crimerates. However, policymakers need to invest adequately to ensure thatthey administer effective programs. In addition, they should makeprobation study a priority and demonstrate the risks faced inprobation. Supervising criminals is a tough call especially peoplewith criminal records thus, probation officers face offenders whocan turn violent. For example, Wilson &amp Hoge (2013a) asserts thatthe work of a probation officer is scary and dangerous in fact,Wilson &amp Hoge’s research reveals that between 40 and 55% ofprobation officers have been victims of violence.


Schmalleger, F., &amp Smykla, J. O. (2015). Corrections in the 21stcentury (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Wilson, H. A., &amp Hoge, R. D. (2013). Diverting Our Attention toWhat Works Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Youth DiversionProgram.&nbspYouth violence and juvenile justice,&nbsp11(4),313-331.

Wilson, H. A., &amp Hoge, R. D. (2013). The Effect of YouthDiversion Programs on Recidivism A Meta-Analytic Review.&nbspCriminaljustice and behavior,&nbsp40(5), 497-518.